IndyCar’s mad, hectic dash begins this weekend in Detroit

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With the month of May now officially in the rear view mirror, the IZOD IndyCar Series ramps up for its busiest and most hectic stretch of the 2013 season. Starting this weekend at Detroit, there will be five races in four weekends, on three different types of circuits.

IndyCar has its first doubleheader race weekend with full races Saturday and Sunday on the streets of Belle Isle, the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit, presented by Quicken Loans. The race circuit has been altered to include a longer straight heading into Turn 3. It also marks the last road or street race until another doubleheader weekend in Toronto July 13-14.

After that, three straight oval weekends follow before a merciful one-week break. IndyCar hits its only 1.5-mile oval in Texas Saturday night, June 8, followed by another Saturday race on the Milwaukee Mile June 15, and a Sunday afternoon event at Iowa Speedway – IndyCar’s shortest oval at 0.875 of a mile – on June 23.

If Indianapolis was a thrash to find the right setup, balance and downforce levels, the next few weeks are the craziest of segments for the entire IndyCar circus. Crews will be working tireless hours doing car changeovers from street course to intermediate oval to short oval setups.

Whoever survives this stretch with the least amount of angst will be well-positioned for the second half of the season. Right now five races are in the books, and in another month, in the blink of an eye, 10 of 19 will be complete.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.